Surgeries can be more than just a one-and-done situation many times. Not only are there pre-surgery preparations, but there are also post-surgery complications and recovery process to consider. Even when a surgery of any kind goes exactly according to plan, it’s not a guarantee that the surgery alone will fix the problem. A perfect example would be one of our newest practice members.
Madison entered into the practice just having recovered from a low back surgery. She was worried because it was a few months of recovery, many more months of physical therapy scheduled and then she was told that she could require other lower back surgeries. She explained that she didn’t understand how someone could go through a surgery, go through rehab and then require the next surgery a few years later.
Earlier this year, a case study of a 56-year old female patient who suffered from chronic neck pain following a spinal surgery was published. The patient underwent a spinal fusion surgery in 1997. The patient was managed under chiropractic care in 2003 after an examination revealed the patients head and neck posture had become distorted. Postural changes of the head and neck can often cause pain and headaches. The patient rated their pain on a numerical scale where 0=no pain and 10=highest pain. The patient said the pain was a 3/10 at its best, a 9/10 at its worst and 4/10 on average. The patient was taking multiple medications for pain including acetaminophen and coding, a narcotic analgesic, anti-migrain medication, tricyclic antidepressants, antiemetic, and muscle relaxers. She also expressed concerns regarding her prescription for pain medication that was known to be addictive.
Even when a surgery of any kind goes exactly according to plan, it’s not a guarantee that the surgery alone will fix the problem.
One of the goals of chiropractic care was to restore head and neck posture back towards vertical alignment. Over 11 days of chiropractic care, there was a 50% improvement in posture! She rated the pain as a 0/10 at its bested a 2/10 at its worst. At the 7.5 years, 11.5 years, and 14 year follow-ups, the patient claimed to have had virtually no pain since being treated initially! She was able to move organically from pain and medication. It was not about fixing the symptoms-but eliminating the cause!
This is just one example but there are a few really good points. One chiropractic can and should be utilized (when safe) to recover from surgery and to look for the reason WHY we needed the surgery in the first place. For example if a disc in the lower back has degenerated and they needed a surgery to fix the disc a chiropractor will look for the reason the disc was injured or degenerated in the first place. If the cause of the issue is not fixed as well often times we get stuck in a constant cycle of more and more surgeries.
We see people across a wide spectrum. Some come into the office with no pain what so ever and are looking to make sure they will never need a surgery and want to set themselves up for success. Some people come into the office having a surgery scheduled and a seeking a second opinion on whether it is necessary and lastly some people come in after a surgery looking to recover quickly and prevent in future surgeries. The goal is always to find the cause of the issue and to fix it at the source. No matter where you are on this spectrum I urge you to reach out and start the process of setting yourself up for future success.